Becoming a Personal Trainer or Strength & Conditioning Coach

There are several related professions that are involved in the development of the physical body of athletes, such as fitness trainer or personal trainer, fitness instructor, and strength and conditioning coach. Here is a discussion mainly about becoming a personal trainer, though this information should relate to any similar field.

What does a Personal Trainer do?

A certified personal trainer can accurately assess your current physical condition and based on that information plan an effective training program in the areas of fitness such as strength, speed, endurance and power. A personal trainer often works for individuals, typically working one-on-one as the name suggests. The exercise sessions take place at varied locations - at the client’s home, the trainer’s place of employment or business, or at a another fitness facility. A similarly trained strength and conditioning coach may be associated with a weight training gymnasium or sporting team, and is responsible for developing the physical side of the athletes.

Bent Over Rowing ExerciseStudying to become a Personal Trainer

People in this field may attend university for a Bachelors' Degree in a sport science field, though lesser but more specific qualifications may be appropriate. There are many diplomas and other courses that can be done - search online for courses in your area. See more about Courses.

Accreditation

Once you have your qualifications, you should become accredited with your local national body, which is often required for jobs in this field. The well respected American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers certifications for personal trainers. A strength and conditioning coach should also get accredited, look for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS ) or Strength & Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) certification. See more about accreditation in the sport sciences.

Work Experience

Once you have your qualifications and certification, apply for a personal trainer job at a gym or start your own personal training business. You may need to market yourself, in the local paper or online. Tell all your friends and family you are now a personal trainer. If you are good at your job, your results will speak for themselves, and word of mouth will help make your business and this career choice successful.

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